The 4 Elements

Danielle Krcmar
Favorite Things:
An Indirect Portrait

Cement, steel, monofilament

Photo:Meghan Kriegel

Artist's Statement
The Egyptian Pharaohs brought treasured objects along with them to the afterworld. Now, our common sense belief is that "you can’t take it with you." Consumer culture tells us that we are what we own. But I have my own conflicts about keeping versus getting rid of stuff. This led me to the idea of an indirect portrait using a cluster of everyday objects — pieces of furniture, clothing, appliances, and presents received. This tangible evidence of a life gives us clues to a person’s taste, vocation, social standing, habits, and interests. Constructing a suspended cloud of objects in cement is an apt parallel to the indirect act of describing identity through objects and the difficulty of fully memorializing someone. There is a conflict between the heavy objects — personal possessions — and the lightness of the imagined spiritual self.

Earth, air, and water are present or implied in the piece. I chose cement because it contains the elements of earth and water. Because it can look like earth or stone, it visually relates to the memorial sculptures and headstones throughout Forest Hills. Suspending the objects in a low-lying cloud separates them from their surrounding environment by elevating and animating them, physically and metaphorically.

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